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Boyfriend Being Controlling About Career Path

Group Therapy: Boyfriend Is Controlling About Career Path

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!


The first plan I had was to earn my associates degree in early childhood education and work in a daycare. They make little money and once I graduate I'd move near my boyfriend. Plan two, which I just conjured up, is to get a doctorate in psychology. I love giving advice, getting in people's heads, etc. so this career is very intriguing. When I told him, he leaned toward plan one.

He said that he would make the money and I wouldn't have to. Then he started bashing psychologists. I understand that he wants to take care of me and be the man; bring home the bacon but it's kind of selfish. I sense some underlying reasons. Can someone give me advice?

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steph1234 steph1234 4 years
Completely disagree with cloudillusions. A doctorate is NOT unrealistic...just a LOT of hard work and dedication. There is a huge difference. It's only unrealistic to a lazy person! If you can read those requirements and realize that the doctorate is not just some flippant thought, but something you really want to go for, then do it!
cloudillusions77 cloudillusions77 4 years
Your boyfriend sounds controlling and unsupportive. But that's not the issue. If you are struggling to decide between getting an Associate's Degree or getting a Doctorate, you haven't explored your options very seriously. Early Childhood Education--a couple years at a community college. vs. Doctorate in Psychology--at least four years in undergrad. Then a Masters degree. Then four more years for a PhD. Conducting clinical trials. Getting your research published. Writing theses and disserations. $100,000+ in debt. It might just be that your boyfriend is unsupportive of the plan you "just conjured up" because it's very unrealistic. There are many other options available to you, though, keep searching for what really suits you best.
testadura67 testadura67 4 years
My stepsister was in a very similar situation. Upon her then boyfriend's request she dropped out of school to be more available to him. They are now married, he barely makes enough to pay their mortgage, and she's not "allowed" to work. He got more controlling about other aspects. We barely see her anymore, and forget holidays. On an issue this important, you need to make your own decisions. If you allow him to control such a huge part of your life, you're giving him permission to control other parts. Don't set that precedent. I'm not saying to leave him, just create healthy boundaries and do what's right for YOU.
courtneyh courtneyh 4 years
I would say you are worrying about the wrong thing. You think your boyfriend might be controlling. However, the way I see it is-he obviously wants a more submissive (for lack of better words) career for his partner. Perhaps he thinks you working a job like day care teacher will mean more time at home and eventually lead you to being a stay at home mom. I'm just guessing. Whereas, if you pursue this other path, it is going to mean more school. More debt, more work hours, and ultimately you will be more dedicated to your career than your family. I think you should think long and hard about what kind of ROLE you want for yourself and your life. (I've had to do this for myself, recently) and decide if you want a path of less debt, a less stressful career, and more family time. VS living more for pursing your dreams/career path. There is no right or wrong choice, and it's totally up to you. But, I would focus less on HIM being "controlling" and more on what you want out of life. At the end of the day, he's not your husband (yet) so your opinion matters 100x more than his. If he WAS your husband-I would have given a different response because I think at that point you need to take your partners wishes into consideration.... Hope I helped point you in a good direction :)
myhousemd myhousemd 4 years
Your boyfriend shouldn't be telling you what to do. There is no guarantee that you two will end up together. There is no guarantee that he will always make enough money to support his family. Do what will make you happy, because you're going to spend most of your time at work.
xxinfinitepleasurexy xxinfinitepleasurexy 4 years
I would never ever allow a third party to determine or influence my life plan. Nonetheless a boyfriend.
steph1234 steph1234 4 years
First of all, he is your boyfriend......he really has no say in what you do and your career path to begin with. Please do not plan your career and future around a boyfriend. You are the one paying for it....not him. Anyway, you need to go in the career path YOU want to...and he can either accept you and be a part of it, or leave and you can find someone who is supportive of you and your dreams. I think he wants you to do #1 because you mentioned moving closer to him right after graduation. Pursuing your doctorate would take longer and prolong that. In school, you need to put your career and lifelong choices first because once you get into a serious relationship and are locked down, chances are you won't make anything out of yourself for the future. Work hard now...get what you want...don't let him make your decision for you. If you do...he will control every other aspect of your life.
Quriosity Quriosity 4 years
Follow your heart and know what's best for you long term. It sounds like you're not 100% on board with him for the option 1. If your heart is more set on the other options, but you ended up listening to him only, one thing could happen further down the road is that you resent him that you had to work at a day care, and by then, it could be hard to start all over again for another career path. That being said, like Joe said, the other option of being a psychologist is not an easy path as well. You really have to be realistic of what you're getting into and what you get out of it. If you're not sure what to do, draw up a 5 year, 10 year plan. Plan where you see yourself in every aspect in the 5 years, or the 10 years time, whether it's earning $50,000 a year, having a family, achieving a masters degree, you need to see where you'll want to be by then. Then according to your end result, plan the next 5 years of what to do, your goals and milestones. I think you could bring it up to him and ask him why he chooses the option 1. Is it because he wants you to be close to him? Could he move to where you are? Or is it because he doesn't want you to advance academically? Or does he just hate psychologist? The red flag would be that he doesn't want to talk about it, or simply he doesn't want you to earn more than him. THAT would be controlling. Good luck!
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 4 years
Miss Mary, I like the part about following our dreams. I would add that all of us are nervous and have feelings of uncertainty at one time or another. These feelings tend to slow us down and make us want to give up quickly. We cannot pretend these feelings of nervousness and uncertainly do not exist, rather we have to first acknowledge that these feelings exist, and see how they are obstacles to our success that we must face and overcome.
missmaryb missmaryb 4 years
Good advice from Joe. I would like to add...follow your dream, don't let anyone stand in your way. At the end of the day, you are the most important person in your life.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 4 years
I want to add that there is a HUGE difference between being a psychotherapist and a psychoanalyst.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 4 years
OP, Three things. I am a fully qualified to be a college-level career counselor and academic advisor, and it is VERY difficult to get a job in this field. You need to start looking at the job prospects of getting this kind of job. Go to advisor at school at your school and ask him/her as to whether he/she thinks there are jobs in this field. You need to do the same for being a psychologist. What is the job market like? And what kind of psychologist so you want to be? Psychotherapist? Psychoanalist? What kind of training does it require, how long will it take, and how much will it cost? Lastly, have you confronted your boyfriend over the fact you think he's being controlling about all of this?
passion8 passion8 4 years
or meet in the middle and become a teacher, college career advisor they make good money. if i were in your shoes i would express to him that it makes me feel good to have a man that believes in being traditional, however, i would have researched facts on cost of living to buy a nice house, cost to have 3 kids 2 cars, pets, several vactions a year plus each family member having hobbies such as snow boarding,surfing, travel, whatever it is. and having an emergency saving acct of saying 60 thousand dollars and to really have this both people in the relationship must have decent paying jobs. i would clearly express that i am not trying to take away his job of providing, it means alot and make it a point to point it out to him offten through out the relationship but it is not realistic for the cost of living today. plus i am sure it makes you feel good as a women to know you have some of the luxeries life has to offer and i know it will enhance the quality of your relationship plus you both will be able to build stronger bonds over the nice vactions you can afford. do you think it will apeal more to him this way? if the rolese were reversed how you want him to react to you if you made such a request of him like he did of you?
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